Residents voice top picks

Skate park, Frisbee golf big choices for Bear River Parcel

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Residents attending a community meeting on the Bear River Parcel said they still want to see a skate park and questioned plans to realign the river running through the parcel.

About 25 residents showed up to the community forum held Wednesday to discuss future plans for the 18-acre home of unused sewer lagoons, which is being proposed for a city park. The parcel sits behind the Curve Shopping Center.

Mike Campbell of Mountain West Environments, the company hired to draft the park's plan, said forum attendees strongly supported building a skate park and a Frisbee golf course on the land.

The group was given four alternatives for the level of use the park would see. The lowest level of use proposes mostly open space and includes a small parking lot, an open play area and a riparian area left preserved in much of the park. The highest level of use would accommodate a parking area, a skate park, a picnic area, a Frisbee golf course, a dog park, a playground and tennis courts.

Campbell said the group seemed to want a level of use less than the highest use proposed. In general, the group was not interested in tennis courts and had concerns with a proposed dog park, he said.

Residents also questioned a proposal to realign the river, Campbell said.

A few years ago, the city had commissioned a study on that section of the river, and the study recommended realigning it. Realigning the river, which now runs in a straight stretch through the parcel, would slow the flow and improve the health of the river, according to the study.

All plan alternatives for the park include some access to the river, Campbell said, but how much the river would be used and whether use would include tubing or other river activities has not been discussed.

The group generally was in favor of the river realignment, Campbell said, but there were concerns about the realignment bringing the river closer to nearby homes and about the possibility of flooding.

Another community meeting is expected within four weeks. The city hopes to have a plan in place before the end of the year, Campbell said.

This summer, the city received a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to help fund the planning for the parcel. Under GOCo guidelines, the city has to have a master plan completed and turned into the state agency by 2004.

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